Bjork here checking in for Pinch of Yum’s monthly traffic and income report. If this is your first time coming across one of these reports I’ll give you quick explanation of what they’re all about.
Lindsay started Pinch of Yum almost six years ago as a hobby. After a year of posting she started to get a decent amount of traffic and engagement. We were curious to see if it was possible to take that early traffic and engagement on the blog and somehow build it into a business.
We started publishing these reports in September of 2011 as a way to document the process of building the blog into a business. You can see that first report here.
Our goal with these posts is to share the things we’re learning along the way and inspire you to move forward and start working on your idea, whether it be a blog, business, non-profit, book, or, well…anything really.
Below are the traffic and income numbers for February, and after that I’ll share some takeaways.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses you can leave a comment and we’ll do my best to reply.
- AdThrive – $19,779.99
- Sponsored Posts/Speaking – $12,000
- Bluehost – $8,165 –> this income comes from a page where we show people how to start a food blog in three steps.
- Gourmet Ads – $4,961.42
- Yellow Hammer Media – $4,763.97
- Tasty Food Photography – $3,424.90
- Amazon Associates – $2,924.20
- Federated Media – $2,210.65
- sovrn – $1,640.89
- Tasty Food Photography Workshops – $1,430.10
- Swoop – $1,375.73
- How to Monetize Your Food Blog eBook – $515.00
- Genesis Theme – $369.73
- Elegant Themes – $89.00
- ActiveCampaign – $18.00
- AWeber – $14.40
- Justworks/Support Staff – $13,553.27
- Studio Related Expenses – $7,877.27
- Amazon S3 and Cloudfront – $1,405.88
- PayPal Transaction Percentage – $975.67
- Food Expenses – $880.59
- Travel – $818.84
- eBook Affiliates – $703.75
- Computer Hardware/Software – $624.22
- Media Temple (Hosting) – $429.00
- ActiveCampaign – $325.00
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $107.43
- LeadPages – $67.00
- Zapier – $50.00
- Misc. – $38.72
- PayPal Website Payments Pro – $30.00
- Shoeboxed – $29.95
- Hotjar – $29.00
- E-Junkie – $28.00
- QuickBooks – $26.95
- SumoMe – $20.00
- VaultPress – $20.00
- Backupify – $12.00
- Buffer – $10.00
Below are some Google Analytics screenshots from the month of February 2016.
Top Ten Traffic Sources
Mobile vs. Desktop vs. Tablet
One of the things that Lindsay and I are quickly realizing is that the biggest bottle neck in our business is us.
Simply put: We can’t do it all.
Hiring will help us move forward on some projects that we’re really excited about and continue to grow both Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro.
It moves us into an interesting but important stage of business where it’s no longer about Lindsay and I working really hard and doing good work, it’s about working really hard to find others that do good work.
It’s a big mindset shift after spending 5+ years in “content mode,” but taking the time to be intentional with hiring has been a huge win, as it results in finding incredible people.
Currently we’re looking to hire a Digital Content Producer here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The job would be a perfect fit for someone that loves food, video production, social media, and lazy dogs.
Drop us a line if you know of anyone that would be a good fit (or if you are that person)!
My Computer Was Stolen
Lindsay and I recently returned from two weeks in the Philippines. It was awesome.
Other than the fact that my computer was stolen.
I was bummed, but then I was thankful.
Here’s why I was thankful:
- I had insurance coverage on the computer through our business insurance plan.
- I had cloud-based backups using CrashPlan.
- I had made a local backup at home before we left using Time Machine.
- The computer requires a password after five minutes of non-use, after going to sleep, or during startup.
- I had all of our passwords stored with 256-bit encryption using 1Password.
For the insurance, every time we get a new piece of gear (camera, computer, ect…) we call and give them the serial number and general info. It makes it a lot easier if something goes missing or gets damaged later on. We have a general business insurance policy that we pay around $60/month for.
Here are something things I’m changing:
- I ordered a bunch of Tiles and put them in important bags and on our keychains. I’m not sure how much this would have helped in the Philippines, as Tile locates off of other Tile users, but I like the idea of having another tool in my virtual toolbelt if this ever happens again.
- I’ve been researching Filevault for disk encryption. I haven’t started using it yet, as I need to make sure it works with backups and other programs I’m running, but it’s something I’m considering. I’m curious – have you ever used disk encryption before? Is it something you always leave on?
03.28.16 Update: After chatting with a few security experts we’ve gone ahead and turned on FileVault.
Needless-to-say it isn’t very fun to have a computer stolen, but because of backups and insurance coverage, it was pretty easy to get up and running with minimal time and money lost.
What are the things you know and love?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea lately in regards to the conversations I’m having with people that want to branch out and build their business/blog/non-profit:
What are the things you know and love?
We often hear from people that are frustrated or feel stuck. They’re trying really hard to build something, but it’s not working out and they’re not enjoying the process.
Here’s the thing: oftentimes the issue is that people are focused on the end result of the process. But success comes because people love the process, not the end result.
Said differently, are you walking a path because you’re hoping it will bring you somewhere, or are you walking a path because you love walking the path?
For instance, if you don’t love photography and writing then you probably shouldn’t spend a bunch of time working on a food blog, because it means you’ll be doing lots of photography and writing. Even though the idea of running your own blog sounds nice (the end result), if you don’t like the process that’s required to put it together (writing, photographing, recipe development, etc…) then you shouldn’t be walking that path.
But maybe you love food and you also love talking with your friends about food. You could talk about food for hours and never get bored. Sounds like you’d enjoy a podcast!
Or maybe you have a dynamic personality and love being in front of the camera. YouTube is a much better fit than blogging for you. Go for it!
Don’t look for the end result. Look for the things that you love and then (this is important) work really hard and keep at it.
Note: Truly not enjoying something is different than feeling resistance when working on it.
Here are three action items that you can apply to your blog this month.
- Are you the bottleneck with your project? Is there someone you can bring on that could help with that? It could be a friend, family member, or someone you hire.
- Setup cloud-based and local computer backups. We use CrashPlan for cloud-based backups and Apple’s built-in Time Machine for local backups.
- Are you working on things you know and love? If not, take some time to jot down ideas around what you truly enjoy doing and take intentional steps towards doing more of that.
Because of you
Every month we donate a portion of this blog income to the Children’s Shelter of Cebu, an orphanage in Cebu City, Philippines.
Lindsay and I fully realize that it’s because you – the readers, commenters, silent observers, and share-with-your-friend-ers – that Pinch of Yum is what it is today.
This donation is our way to say thanks to you (yes you!).
This month we’re donating to help pay for medical costs for a little boy named Danilo (not the one pictured above). Danilo was born with a cleft palate, for which he has undergone two surgeries to correct. He is on growth hormone treatments to help eliminate some of his growth deficiencies. These cost $500/month and they expect he will need these for a few years.